Wrestlers' second-degree felony assault charges lowered
Lozano, Reeb face third-degree assault and no probation
Former UB wrestler Justin Lozano (bottom, in purple and yellow) lost his scholarship after a physical altercation with another UB student near South Campus. Nick Fischetti, The Spectrum
The second-degree felony assault charges against former UB wrestling teammates Justin Lozano and Clayton Reeb were lowered to assault in the third-degree, a misdemeanor. On Tuesday morning, the codefendants appeared in front of Judge Craig Hannah in Buffalo City Court.
"Serious" was also taken off the records categorizing injuries the two allegedly inflicted on Joshua Rubin, a communication major. Rubin continues to seek medical attention at Erie County Medical Center, according to Assistant District Attorney Danielle Smith.
The attack, which occurred on Feb. 16, at approximately 2:30 a.m., left Rubin unconscious and bleeding from the head on Main Street.
Lozano and Reeb followed Rubin and his three friends down Main Street after encountering them at The Steer. Lozano allegedly attacked Rubin, picked him up and slammed him into the concrete head first. Meanwhile, Reeb fought Rubin's friend, according to witnesses.
After the attack, the wrestlers continued to contact the victims via Facebook, causing them to file orders of protection. However, the documents will expire on May 18 2013, according to Smith.
Lozano and Reeb, who pled not guilty, requested their probation be rescinded. Reeb was quickly granted the request because he has "strong" ties to the area, according to his lawyer, Melissa Reese. He lives with his mother and father, a Cheektowaga police officer. He currently attends UB but will be suspended for one year after this semester ends.
For Lozano, a California native, the decision did not come as easily. Smith argued Lozano will go back home to avoid facing punishment and she will not be able to prosecute him thoroughly. Lozano is currently suspended from UB and has been stripped of his wrestling scholarship.
Lozano's lawyer, Kevin Stadelmaier, argued the wrestler has been coming to court every time and should be trusted. Hannah agreed but said if Lozano does not come back, Stadelmaier's reputation will be at stake.
The two are scheduled to appear in court on May 1 at 2 p.m.
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